Navigation – Basics of the map key

Navigation – Basics of the map key

Difference between topo and other map types and the best ones for navigating in foot versus vehicle Compass do’s and don’ts and nomenclature. How to use a sighting compass How to orient yourself to the map How to figure out your location How to get from A – B Final thoughts and advice. This will be the first 4 days the fifth day is a practical application tip or two. Map and compass use There are a few important things to understand when you first look at a map. 1. Scale? How big is the area the map represents? Most modern maps have distance scales on the bottom of the page or in the back of a book of maps. They usually relate an inch or centimeter on paper to the equivalent distance on the ground (this measurement does not take terrain into consideration). 2. Legend and key Usually located in the bottom corner of a map, the legend or key will explain what each symbol on the map represents. It also contains important information like declination and elevation line value. 3. Map type Topographic maps (show terrain differences with elevation lines) vary differently from road maps and satellite maps. Make sure you have the right map for your objective. Road maps are designed for travel by vehicle and prioritize road identifications, this may seem like a no brainer but a map looks like a map when you are in a hurry. Topographic (aka topo maps) will show roads but identification is a low priority. They show terriain by marking lines at specific elevations. They also show water ways,...
Mylar bags with a Foodsaver vac-sealer?

Mylar bags with a Foodsaver vac-sealer?

Yes… yes, you can.  So, I wanted to get 50 pounds of rice vacuum sealed in Mylar. I really wanted to do it… RIGHT NOW. My meds for my shoulder kill my motivation. So, I have to take advantage of every moment I feel like getting things done.  Now, my problem is that Foodsaver brand bags are textured to keep the bag from sealing itself shut as soon as the process starts. Mylar bags are stiff and perfectly smooth. I tried a bunch of different ways and couldn’t come up with any way to get it to work. So, here’s my “lifehack”. YouTube...
45 Important Documents to Have in the Event of a Disaster

45 Important Documents to Have in the Event of a Disaster

Should the unthinkable happen, and a disaster takes your home and all your belongings… Having these with you, when you evacuate, can help make the rebuilding of your life a lot easier. From insurance claims, to short term loans, having the right paperwork can help make a disaster a little easier to recover from. Most of these documents can be replaced but many take time, energy, and money. All things you’ll be short on. Some of these documents require the others in order to get replacements. I hope you never find yourself in the situation where you need this but I hope this helps you to recover.  Print this out, highlight any that apply to you and then check them off when you’ve put them together with your other documents.  You may want to keep your documents in one of these: Fire Resistant Document Bag Here’s the list: Contact info for your family/group  Emergency out of area contact info  Cell phone numbers, Radio frequencies, Contact time schedule for your group  Birth Certificates  Passports  Drivers License  Marriage Certificates  ID Cards  Military Service Records  Child/School ID  Adoption, Foster Care Papers  Immigration Papers  Legal Will, Living Will, Power of Attorney  Inheritance Documents  Deferred Payment Records  Immunization Records  Medical Prescriptions  Medical Insurance Paperwork  MediCare/MedicAid Paperwork  Loan Papers (Home/Auto/RV/Bank, etc…)  Titles/Deeds  Mortgage  Vehicle Registration/Title  Lease/Rental Agreements  Home/Auto/Business Insurance  Home Inventory (Photo/Video, with serial numbers if possible)  Property Taxes  Banking Info (Checking/Savings/CD)  Safe Deposit Box Info  Credit Card Statements  Pay Stubs  Investment Portfolio/Retirement/Pension  Social Security Documents  Tax Returns  Business Records  Business License  Business Lease/Property Records  Business Equipment/Inventory Records  Employee Records  Diplomas  Training and Certification Records  School...
Harvey – The Good, The Bad, And the Helpless

Harvey – The Good, The Bad, And the Helpless

By now, the storm is just a memory but we’ve all seen accounts from those devastated by Hurricane Harvey. So many people STAYED in harms way. Why didn’t they evacuate? Why were so many people unprepared? They live in Hurricane Country… They live in a flood prone area… why were so many of them, seemingly caught off guard? After the following email, from a fan, I decided to unpack this convoluted situation and mass evacuations in general.   . The email:  You know you are my go to guy for keeping me on the right path so to speak!  I am having serious angst over these people in Houston!  It’s not like I have family down there.  I do but they are in Austin and are faring well.  Anyhow…..  My son says he cannot understand my faith in people. I have many thoughts about this stuff.   1)  How are so many so unprepared?  They live in a FLOOD ZONE in a HURRICANE prone area!  WTH??? 2)  I was watching Good Morning America this morning.  Their doctor was on discussing the medical implications of the hurricane/tropical storm/rain/flooding.  I have read the Coming Home series and One Second After series.  The first folks to go are going to be the elderly and chronically ill.  She was talking about how dire the situation is going to be for those needing dialysis, those who have heart disease, those on oxygen, diabetics on insulin, etc…  I don’t understand.  These people had 3-4 days to evacuate.  Why did they stay?  (Maybe these are rhetorical questions, but these are my thoughts)  You know even sometimes...
REVIEW – TUFF Products EDC Kit

REVIEW – TUFF Products EDC Kit

This review of the TUFF Products EDC Kit is a little biased… Not because of anything they did. It’s just that I love their flashlight but I hate “Tactical pens”… I’ll explain in the article below.  This kit includes: Break Out Tactical Pen T180 Rotating Head Flashlight Stainless Steel Money Clip Gift Box Batteries are included.  -TUFF Products T180 flashlight.This is a well-made flashlight of the every day carry size and is essentially unique in its ability to use both CR 123 and AA batteries. Output is reduced when swapping from the CR 123 battery to the AA. Maximum output on CR 123 is approximately 130 lm, while output with a AA battery is limited to about 90. The switch is comfortable and gives a positive click when initiated. The body is anodized aluminum with good knurling. This should provide a good grip even in wet conditions or with gloves. All indications are that this flashlight will last you a very long time. Runtimes are comparable with several other flashlights from manufacturers such a Surefire, Thrunite and Nitecore. Many lights in this category offer the ability to run for several days in a “moonlight mode” but that is not the intended purpose of this light. It is rated to run approximately 106 minutes on a cr123 and 50 minutes on a AA in high mode. I exceeded both by nearly 50% They don’t provide a low mode runtime but I got up to 44 hours on a cr123 and a 37 hours on a AA. I was impressed that it came with Energizer batteries and not the standard off...
The Four Morons of the Apocalypse

The Four Morons of the Apocalypse

  The world of preparedness is as vast as the dangers that we all prepare for. Supplies, tools, food, water, solar, gardens, chickens, livestock, canning, knitting, reading, planning, welding, hunting, fishing…dot, dot, dot, etc…There are so many things to do, learn, and stock up on to prepare yourself and your family. Just what are you preparing for? Wildfire, tornado, hurricane, financial collapse, political or civil unrest, EMP, CME…SOL PDQ… sometimes the whole prospect seems overwhelming. It’s best to take a step back, take a breath, and make a well rounded plan that takes several possibilities and incorporates them. Take the whole thing in manageable bites. I suggest starting with an evacuation plan. Remember, preparedness is not a sprint, preparing is a marathon. It even has mile markers! Today’s article is a warning to those starting out or just getting established. Those who are well on their way down the wrong road are harder to turn around. Here is your warning Don’t get stuck in one area of prepping! We’re going to use 4 common stereotypes of people as object lessons. We’ll refer to them as: The Four Morons of the Apocalypse. I’ll introduce you to the cast of characters as we go. -The Gear Junkie (aka Mall Ninja) You’ve seen him. You know you have. This guy goes to Walmart wearing 1/2 of a combat loadout just to grab a carton of smokes. He’s got Blackhawk pants and his Zombie Team hat. He wears 5.11 shooting glasses just to take a leak. His Merrell tactical boots, “are the same ones the Delta guys wear”. If you stumble across him...
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